12.50 Navan Handicap Hurdle 2m
Dixie Flyer gets the vote to get off the mark over hurdles. A mark of 114 looks to underestimate this Henry de Bromhead-trained five-year-old when consider the form of his previous two starts.
He finished second to subsequent Grade 3-placed The Names Jock at Listowel and then fourth in a good maiden hurdle won by Stumptown at Limerick. He was favourite for that latter contest but wasn’t disgraced, potentially not suited by the soft ground on the day, and the second and third have run well again since. Back on good ground today, Dixie Flyer could be better suited and can come forward.
Both Clarens and The Dasher Conway make appeal as lightly raced last-time-out winners who could improve again, but this quicker ground could suit Ricky Langford more. Philip Rothwell’s consistent seven-year-old has been in good form and returns to hurdles after a good run to be third to All The Chimneys over fences at Thurles.
SELECTION: DIXIE FLYER
Next best: Ricky Langford
1.20 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle 2m 4f
Ah Fleuron, a £220,000 purchase for Bective Stud after he won his point-to-point bumper at Tipperary, should receive plenty of support at the owners’ home track. That said, he’s first-time-up over hurdles and hasn’t run since that win in March, so it may be worth taking him on.
Noah’s Light could be a decent each-way alternative. He ran very well behind the same owners’ Ginto in a maiden hurdle over this course, distance and likely similar ground last month. It seems fairly reasonable to suggest he can hit the frame again.
Both Bust Or Bray Dee and Hans Gruber finished second on their previous runs and should go well again, the latter coming up to this trip. Bust Or Bray Dee finished second to Willaston at Gowran Park, form which has been boosted since the fourth, Upping The Anti, won in good style since.
SELECTION: NOAH’S LIGHT
Next best: Bust Or Bray Dee
1.50 John Lynch Carpets & Flooring Monksfield Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 4f
It may be that one of Ginto or The Hollow Games will be scratched from this contest tomorrow morning, given they represent the same owner and trainer.
That will change the complexion of the race but if both were to run, Ginto is marginally preferred. The pair probably ran to a similar standard for their maiden hurdle wins but Ginto did it over this course and distance and looked to be dossing when he hit the front late on. He’s a top prospect.
Perhaps Lunar Display can bank another blacktype effort and hit the frame. She has been running to a good standard in mares company, having beaten Queens Brook on her previous run over hurdles, and it won’t be a surprise to see her run well again taking the 7lb allowance.
Next best: Lunar Display
2.20 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle 2m6f
Gaspard Du Seuil can go one better than his effort here two weeks ago. He travelled sweetly in front that day and he had everything in trouble going to the second last only for Farawaybay to emerge from the pack to collar him late home. He’s only a five-year-old and that was just his fifth start over hurdles so it’s reasonable to presume he can improve further, returning to this course and distance.
The horse that finished one place behind him two weeks ago, Fiveaftermidnight, could get closer today. He’s a course winner and was closing right up to the front two, which represented his best run so far this term. Top-weight Jimmy Jimmy should appreciate this quick ground and also makes appeal having finished first and second on his only two hurdles starts.
SELECTION: GASPARD DU SEUIL
Next best: Fiveaftermidnight
2.50 Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase (Grade B) 3m
A typically competitive renewal could go to Mister Fogpatches who may well enjoy this quicker ground more than most. Pat Fahy’s seven-year-old gelding progressed nicely towards the back end of last season, prospering for a significant step up in trip when third in the Scottish Grand National and then winning the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap Chase over just short four miles at Punchestown. Both those efforts came on good ground, so he’ll handle the likely conditions, and he has already proven himself this season with a good run in the Cork Grand National, where he was third to Braeside.
Gordon Elliott has seven declared, perhaps headlined by Farclas, the mount of Davy Russell. He has some solid form in good handicap chases last season and remains capable of better. Both Mortal and Defi Bleu catch the eye as potentially well handicapped propositions also.
This wouldn’t be a usual haunt of Willie Mullins but he does have an intriguing runner this year in the talented Lord Royal, last seen finishing seventh in the National Hunt Chase. He has course-and-distance form having finished second in a beginners chase here last season and makes plenty of appeal as a second-season chaser aged just six.
SELECTION: MISTER FOGPATCHES
Next best: Lord Royal
3.20 Boardsmill Stud Irish EBF Beginners Chase 2m1f
Willie Mullins has won this contest with some subsequent stars down the years but the quick ground has likely deterred him from releasing another one tomorrow. He is represented by Mt Leinster, a useful operator, but he was beaten by Cayd Boy at Wexford, and Liz Doyle’s six-year-old should confirm that form. The pair was, in turn, beaten by Take All in a driving finish, but it’s worth noting that it was Cayd Boy’s first run of the season whereas Mt Leinster had race fitness on side.
The selection is a lightly raced sort in general and was a smart handicap hurdler last season, winning a Grade B contest at Down Royal at around this part of the season.
Rambranlt’jac also represents Mullins and he was okay over hurdles as well, but the second vote goes to the mare Kapard. She had two wins from four starts last season and although struggling a little when stepped up in grade, she could rate a better chaser and has a win on good ground.
SELECTION: CAYD BOY
Next best: Kapard
3.50 Coolmore N.H. Sires In Swoop Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race (Listed) 2m
A tentative vote goes to The Model Kingdom. Noel Meade’s four-year-old was impressive under his rider today Pat Taaffe at Galway, coming clear from Kilbarry Chloe who has since franked that form by running a close second to the well regarded Bellatior at Naas. His rider can’t claim in this listed bumper, which isn’t ideal, but his mount could well be good enough, especially if she progresses from her debut run.
Agritime was a smooth winner at Cork but has to give weight away all around and so the second vote goes to Flemencello. She ran nicely when third in a listed mares’ bumper at Gowran Park last month and has the assistance of Patrick Mullins, who can face his fellow amateur rivals on a level playing field here.
SELECTION: THE MODEL KINGDOM
Next best: Flemencello